bixHalloween will be here before you know it. You have your decor, pumpkins, kids’ costumes and candy. But what about your dog? Help him have a howling good time with a fun costume.

Keep your dog’s comfort in mind. Would you want to wear a constricting hat that rubs your hair the wrong way? That’s how he feels about the wrong type of costume that undoes his grooming. In general, the less a costume covers his fur, the more comfortable he will feel. Most dogs don’t like hats that flatten their ears. Some dogs will put up with quite a bit, but stay within your pooch’s comfort zone.

Play into your dog’s breed. For instance, most people relate Dalmatians to firehouses and Disney’s 101 Dalmatians movie. If that’s your dog’s breed, dress up yourself as a fire fighter or puppy-hunting villain and bring along your dog. In this case, you’re the costume. Going trick-or-treating with the kids and the dog? Dog walking has never been so fun!

You can also work against breed stereotypes for a humorous effect by dressing your fluffy poodle as a Harley biker. Or your Doberman as a ballerina. Surprise people.

For mixed-breed dogs, work with his shape and coloring. A long, low, brown doggie would look cute with a fabric bun strapped on both sides and a felt catsup squiggle going down his back. Hot dog! A dog with black and white coloring might look like great in a spooky skeleton getup. 

Help your dog enjoy Halloween by trying out his costume in advance. With a slow introduction, praise and treats, your dog will become used to his costume and have fun on the big night. Keep a few biscuits at the door for trick-or-treaters with the same mindset.

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant